Mind-Boggling Home Sales

U.S. Homes Selling For Tens of Millions of Dollars

Mind-Boggling Home Sales
May 18, 2015

Can you imagine paying $60 million for a home — or anything, for that matter? That is the highest price paid for a California home so far in 2015. The Singleton Estate in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles sold for an estimated $60 million to an anonymous foreign buyer. The price has not been disclosed, so it is possible the price is even higher — the Los Angeles Times is estimating $65 million for the final tab.

However, that amount is nowhere near the top-dollar home sale in the U.S., or in California — or even in the same neighborhood. Last March, the Fleur de Lys mansion, also located in Holmby Hills, sold for a reported $88.3 million to an anonymous buyer (presumably not the same one as the Singleton estate, since even the mega-rich cannot afford to be collecting houses in such a high-value area).

The California record for a home sale transaction was set back in November 2012 through SV Projects, LLC, and eventually tied back to Softbank CEO Masayoshi Sun, the second-richest person in Japan at the time of the purchase. The estate in Woodside, near Palo Alto in the Silicon Valley, brought in a whopping $117.5 million final purchase price.

Surely, that is the highest amount ever paid for a residence in the U.S.? No, it isn't, although because of varying state disclosure laws, there is some question as to which home sale is the most expensive to date.

Business Insider reports that an 18-acre property in East Hampton, NY, purchased by Barry Rosenstein is the most expensive home in the U.S. at $147 million. Rosenstein, the founder and managing partner of the hedge fund JANA Partners, LLC, purchased the house in April 2014 and now can count Jerry Seinfeld among his neighbors. Perhaps they meet periodically and chat about… nothing.

Had the timber magnate John Rudey received his asking price, his Copper Beech Farm along the Connecticut coast on Long Island Sound would have topped the list at $190 million. The 50-acre property with two private islands and 4,000 feet of coastline eventually sold for an approximate $120 million; a price cut that is greater than the entire purchase price of Singleton Estate.

It is possible that Stan Kroenke, the billionaire owner of the St. Louis (and probably soon to be Los Angeles) Rams, is in the mix. He purchased the Broken O Ranch property in north-central Montana in November of 2012, which was listed at $132.5 million. Real estate purchase amounts are not public record in Montana, and Kroenke is unlikely to publicize the purchase price, so we can only speculate where the Broken O Ranch falls amid the list. (Meanwhile, doesn't the "Montana Rams" have a nice ring to it?)

Other nine-figure home sales include a Los Altos Hills mansion that sold for $100 billion in 2011 to venture capitalist and DST Global founder Yuri Milner. Located just down the road from Masayoshi Sun's home in Woodside, Milner's new digs include 17 acres, a 25,545-square foot mansion, and a 4,600-square foot guesthouse.

The only thing that we can say for sure is that all of these home sale records will be eclipsed someday. If you have $150 million or so just lying around the house, perhaps you can be the next record holder for the highest price ever paid for a home — or you can spend it on a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball instead. Hey, it's your $150 million — who are we to tell you how to spend it?

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